Within the black natural hair community, two-strand twists are a popular styling method. The technique for this hairstyle involves dividing a section of hair into two equal parts and then twisting them around each other, creating a rope-like appearance.
You can do twists on damp or dry hair. Twists vary in size; depending on what you want, you can achieve small to large.
You’ll need to wash your twist every few days to remove residue and moisturise your scalp.
Importance of Washing and Maintaining 2 Strand Twists
Washing and maintaining your two-strand twists is crucial for several reasons, including:
Hygiene and Scalp Health
Washing your 2-strand twists at least weekly or every two weeks contributes to the upkeep of a clean and healthy scalp.
The scalp and the twists can become clogged with dirt, sweat, oil residue, and product buildup, which can cause discomfort and problems with the scalp.
Prevents Hair Odor
You may notice an unpleasant smell coming from your hair if you sweat a lot. It’s necessary to wash your hair regularly to maintain a fresh and pleasant smell.
Moreover, hair products, such as gels, creams, or oils, can accumulate in the twists over time, weighing down the hair and diminishing the definition of the twists. Washing helps to remove these residues, allowing the twists to maintain their shape, structure, and shine.
Enhances Hair Growth
A clean and healthy scalp is conducive to hair growth. You promote a healthy environment for your hair to grow by routinely washing and caring for your twists.
Longevity of the Style
Proper maintenance, including washing, can extend the life of your two-strand twists. Clean twists are less likely to tangle or become matted, preserving the style for a longer period of time.
As such, keeping your twists clean and well-maintained contributes to the overall health of your hair. It ensures that your hair is in the best possible condition, reducing the risk of dryness, breakage, and dullness.
Step-By-Step Process for Washing 2 Strand Twists
1. Gather all Supplies
Gather all the necessary items you need to achieve clean hair and scalp, including:
- Detangling brush
- A wide-tooth comb
- A soft towel or T-shirt
- A sulfate-free shampoo
- Deep conditioner or hair mask (Optional)
For shampoo and conditioner suitable for natural hair, we recommend the Shea Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner Set. The shampoo cleans in one wash, and it does not strip your hair. The conditioner makes your hair soft and manageable. The set is ideal for black hair.
Alternatively, you can use the Pantene, Shampoo, and Sulfate-Free Conditioner Kit. These products work to keep your hair moisturised and soft. You’ll love the smell, too.
2. Dampen the Twists
Dampen your hair thoroughly using cold to warm water. Make sure all parts of your twists are wet so the shampoo can soak in.
3. Apply shampoo to your wet hair
Using a sulfate-free shampoo, apply a small amount to your scalp. Use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp to remove dirt and buildup from the roots. The suds should run down the twists as you rinse your scalp.
4. Apply Conditioner to Your Hair
To keep your twists from unravelling, condition the hair rather than the roots. Use a generous amount and distribute it evenly. To make the hair easier to detangle, section the hair into smaller parts as the conditioner soaks in. To allow the conditioner to penetrate your hair, leave it in for a few minutes.
5. Rinse the Hair
After 10–25 minutes, rinse the conditioner from your twist. Gently squeeze the water from the twist after rinsing. You can also wrap your hair in a towel to soak up the excess water.
6. Allow to Dry
Allow your hair to air dry, then moisturise the scalp with hair oil to add shine.
7. Retwist Your Hair
There is a chance that some of your twists will come undone, no matter how delicately you wash them. Therefore, retwist any twists that have started to unwind.
How to Maintain Your Two Strand Twists
To maintain your twists, keep them moisturised to prevent dryness and brittleness. Apply a water-based moisturiser or hair oil regularly.
Applying a natural oil like coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter seals in the moisture and keeps the hair hydrated.
Cover with Satin Bonnet
Before going to bed, cover your twists with a satin or silk bonnet or scarf to reduce friction and keep them from becoming frizzy.
Moreover, avoid touching your twists with the least chance. Constantly touching your twists can cause them to unravel or become frizzy. Thus, you can use a satin bonnet even during the day when at home to minimise touching.
Retwist as Needed
If you notice any frizz or unravelling in your twist, you can gently re-twist those sections. First, spray the area with water to dampen it before re-twisting.
To maintain their longevity, you can also put them in protective styles like buns or updos.
Ensure your twists are fully dry after washing to prevent mildew or an unpleasant smell.
Whenever your hair is wet, it is most vulnerable to fungi and bacteria, which breed on a damp, dark scalp. It’s therefore important to allow your hair plenty of time to air-dry after washing it.
Wear a Shower Cap
Wear a shower cap in the shower unless you intend to wash your hair. Covering your twist during bath time prevents frizz and keeps your twists looking fresh for days. Make sure your shower cap has an elastic band that fits tightly so you can effectively block steam.
Hair Conditioner and Shampoo Products for Twists
To keep your hair healthy, hydrated, and beautiful while wearing twists, you must select the best shampoo and conditioner. Products that offer enough moisture, gentle cleaning, and assistance with detangling are necessary for twists.
Here are some recommendations you should use:
1. Shea Moisture Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner Set
The shampoo is sulfate-free for colour-treated hair or chemically-treated hair, while the conditioner restores moisture without weighing your hair down.
If you have curly black hair, the SheaMoisture set will enhance your curls, soften the strands, and keep it shiny.
These features make them ideal for maintaining twists. The coconut oil and hibiscus extract helps hydrate and add shine.
2. Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo
Nourished with a shea butter formula, Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo washes away heavy build-up to leave your hair and scalp refreshed. They smell great and leave your curls soft and bouncy.
The shampoo, among others, is gentle on the hair and scalp, making it ideal for twists. The hydrating cream conditioner provides deep moisture to keep twists soft and manageable.
3. African Pride Moisture Miracle Honey & Coconut Oil Set
These products are sulfate-free and great for type 4C hair or curly hair. The set is formulated with honey and coconut oil to replenish moisture and strengthen the hair. It helps maintain the health of your twists and prevent breakage. You’ll be glad you bought the set.
4. Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free
These products contain a blend of Mandarin orange extract that will gently clean your hair. It’s the best product for deep-cleaning product buildup in your hair.
Kinky-Curly’s products are best for their natural ingredients and effectiveness in moisturising and detangling natural kinky hair.
5. Mielle Organics Babassu and Mint Deep Conditioner with Pomegranate & Honey Shampoo
This conditioner helps hydrate and replenish dry, damaged hair while enhancing your hair and scalp. It’s enhanced with fatty acids and natural oils from the Amazonian palm fruit babassu.
Additionally, complex amino acids from wheat and soy are used in the formulation of the Babassu and Mint Deep Conditioner to give your hair the extra attention it needs and to lessen frizz and flyaways. These amino acids also infuse your hair with protein and help lock in moisture.
Now It’s Your Turn
Knowing the right way to wash your twist is one step away from maintaining it. You also need to use the right products and care for them.
It’s important to adapt these recommendations to meet the specific needs, preferences, and sensitivities of your hair.
A good leave-in conditioner or styling product is also essential to maintaining your twists’ moisture and definition.